New York City has always been a magical place for me, a place full of surprises and glitter at every corner, a place where my heart feels bursting and full when i’m there. i just love it, and it’s my heart.
i’d been feeling empty creatively and longing for my dreams, thirsting for some color in my life. i pulled a card from my tarot deck one morning, and pulled… The Magician. and for some reason, this made me start tearing up which then turned into a full crying session, oh my goodness. because i interpreted it as me needing to go out there to make my own magic. but i just felt sooo TIRED of trying and trying and not seeing any results! and feeling like the responsibility was still on me felt just too much.
BUT of course i stopped feeling sorry for myself, got off my butt, and decided to take charge. so, i thought, New York City. i feel happy whenever i’m there, so i’ll just go there more often and see what that may bring.
well, the first thing i did there this summer was ever so magical! i met a blogger i admire greatly, Gala Darling!! i’ve been reading her sparkly, informative, and sometimes spiritual blog for probably a year now, and when i saw the opportunity to meet and hang out with her at her Radical Self Love Salon, i jumped at the chance! yes, i was scared - i get anxious in situations i’m not familiar with, surrounded by people i don’t know - but i knew i needed to not let my fear stop me.
so i made my way over to NYC! i got to the building, went up the elevator, poked my head around the corner when i got off and saw the door to it, slightly ajar. i poked my head in and there she was! just as lovely as her photos, in a bright pink dress and a flower crown. (anyone who loves pink is my kind of person!) and i later learned she’s also a total sweetheart too!
one of the first things she had us do was pull an oracle card from the beautiful Outi Harma deck, and tell everyone what it said and how it applied to our lives. my card pictured a female with tears running down her face, and the words “letting go”, on it. yes, that was a little alarming to me, but when it was my turn to speak, i just told all the ladies that i’d been doing a lot of crying lately like the picture. also, i told them i feel i’m in a big transition period right now, i can feel it in my bones. and astrologically and tarot-wise, i’ve also been getting hints. i said i’m not quite sure of what i’m letting go unless it’s an old version of me, but i know that i can’t let go of music because it’s just my heart, and that would be just as hard as letting go of a boyfriend or a husband. and i love how all the women in the room were so supportive, and trying to do and say whatever they could, to uplift and help everyone else in the room. it was like we were all in it together.
Gala did such a great job in creating a beautiful moment full of wonderful and supportive new people, laughter, tears, pink rose petals, and rose quartz crystals. i enjoyed every second, and in the end we wrote one thing each that we wanted to let go of, on a piece of paper. then one by one we got up to burn them in a little metal cauldron. what i wrote on mine was “fear”. i just wanted to burn away all the fear that’s preventing me from reaching my dreams. i just want to go for it and not look back one day and say i never did what i wanted to because i was too afraid. well, this was the perfect start to that, i’d say
afterwards, some of us decided to hang out and walk around the city. it was the most beautiful day, and i was so happy to be out! we walked through wildflowers in the park, and on the bustling city side walks. met an adorable little french bulldog, saw a lady making the biggest bubbles i’ve ever seen, ate the best gelato ever at Grom, and the best part, walked by a musician playing a real baby grand piano in the middle of the park!!
so this is why i love NYC so much, why it is my heart. musicians playing baby grands outside? being able to meet people you admire, like Gala Darling? literally being surrounded by people who push fear away and just live out their dreams? that’s NYC for you, and it surely is a SENSATIONAL place where your dreams can come true. all you gotta do is start with a little magic
a pretty picture of the spiritual retreat center in MA, featuring a big sign to the entrance of their campus reading “Kripalu”, has been on my dream board for going on 2 years now. ever since Joseph & i went on a retreat to Omega Institute in NY a while back, i’ve wanted to go on another one. but somehow we never got around to it. maybe because we subconsciously thought, why go on one spiritual retreat, when we could go on TWO fun getaways with beautiful accommodations, for the same price?? haha
but my soul had been starting to feel really brittle, so i knew i needed this, i knew i needed to make a conscious effort to get myself there one way or another. i knew the time and investment were worth it. so i made a determination to go, in my heart, no matter what. joseph was right on board with me. and of course right after we made that decision, we got our tax return, which would cover a lot of it, so i felt it was a sure sign! and of course i should have known this, as i have a quote taped up by my desk by Sark saying, “go to where you want to be, and the resources will follow”
another reason i was drawn to going, was not only would this be a spiritual retreat, but a musical one. i found that Snatam Kaur, would be leading one of the retreats, so i specifically chose to go to hers. if you don’t know who Snatam is, her music is played in many yoga classes all over. she’s also almost always a featured performer for yoga festivals all over. i once was yoga-ing away during a class, and heard a beautiful voice singing a beautiful melody, and found later it was Snatam’s music. and since then, we have collected and enjoyed a few of her albums. spirituality, combined with MUSIC, why of COURSE i would have to go to this!! and to be in the same room as the source of this beautiful music, for several days? of course! my heart was drawn and there was no way back, as part of me feeling brittle is always because of a lack of music in my world.
and what a beautiful, transcending experience it was. Kripalu is a beautiful retreat space. full of such high, light, beautiful energy throughout the property. i’m usually very sensitive to energies wherever i go, especially if i am to sleep somewhere new. i didn’t get one bad vibe here at all, it just felt so peaceful and clear. and wonderful, nutritious food the whole time, too, which always helps your overall wellbeing.
we got there, and i was walking into the main room where the workshop would take place. i turned my head to the right, and there she was she gave me the warmest smile, where i could almost physically feel it. it was almost startling, her energy was just so light and bright and full of love. she’s just one of those people that can change your insides just by being in their presence, i think she may be a human angel. and i realize i want to embody that kind of energy. i want my music to bring light to people’s souls. and to make music like that, i need to keep going in that direction myself.
we did a whole lot a meditative chanting, and by the 2nd day, i was spiritually and physically worn out. and during a chant, with the beautiful live music being played, i found myself getting really emotional. first with so much anger, over something minor (which is usually masking something major!). i was so angry and couldn’t control my eyes tearing up over it. i had to get up and leave the room. and when i came back, of course i continued to cry. and this time it ended up being because i felt so lost. i kept asking whoever or whatever is out there, ‘what am i supposed to do in this world? what is my purpose and howw do i do it?? help me find my music. help me find my music.’ all of my confusion and struggles of searching just came tumbling out. and of course the music is what made me cry the most. the beauty of it, and my heart wanting to do it so much and loving it so much. and i felt so worn out by the end of the day. i even thought i wouldn’t mind going home already.
Snatam was having a concert that evening, though. i was worn out, but walked over to the hall with Joseph anyway. we ended up being able to sit in the very front, right in front of the musicians. and… it was just so beautiful. beautiful voices, strings, tabla. i found myself singing along, even if i didn’t know some of the songs, i just started singing harmonies to go along with the music, and it was magical. you know when you’re listening to live music and it just takes you to another plane? i was on another plane, the whole room was. the power of music. we were all lifted to a higher level. and it rejuvenated me. filled me up. and confirmed that music has such a high power. and i was given the gift of music. so i need to be using it somehow. even if it’s hard. even if i feel lost and helpless and don’t know HOW.
and the next morning, i made it to the 4:30am yoga & meditation. (yes, i said 4:30am! i’ll try anything once) and during the savasana (lying down meditation), i saw bright lights, and colors, on another plane, like i was on during the concert. i started crying again. it was a beautiful day. Snatam had a cd signing, so i was able to talk to her and she said she’s been watching the two of us and was happy to see us grow so much i told her i was a musician as well and we talked about the songwriting process a bit. i also gave her and her band copies of my album as a gift.
joseph bought us some beautiful malas there, his purple amethyst, and mine, pink rose quartz. we put them on the rest our time there. to infuse them with the energies of Kripalu so we could take them home with us. we wore them while we walked their beautiful labryinth, and put them on the Angel and Buddha statue that was at the center of it. i whispered my dreams and released them to the world.
we met in group discussions with the same group throughout. and made wonderful friends with like minded souls. we were to draw pictures of our states of being. mine is below. i drew me on a boat, flower in my hair, following the sun around the world, leaving behind music, beauty, and love wherever i go. and we still keep in contact with the great people we met. (so glad to have met you Laurie, John, Sara, Tom!)
yes, it was a Kundalini retreat. and there was a Buddha statue at the center of the labyrinth. but i always think of a quote i read somewhere, that when dealing with reading books, or spirituality in general, “be a sieve, not a sponge”. and i stand by that, and have for a while. i always takes what works for me and leave what doesn’t. and what i leave may work better for someone else. after all, who knows what's best for you the most? you, of course.
we went to the cafeteria for our final meal, and chose a table next to a wall. and while we were sitting there, Snatam’s husband, little girl, and band members were looking for somewhere to sit. they chose a nearby table. but her little girl shook her head and pointed right at our table and said she wanted to sit there. i love kids so we had our last meal with Snatam’s band and family, and it was so nice to connect and talk to them about everything. they even said they had listened to my cd and i have beautiful voice!! we were blessed and this retreat was just what i needed.
i still don’t know for sure, where i’m going. but i do know i’m on the right path
hello everyone! it’s kiyomi, and i just wanted to offer you all my album for free, if you don’t have it already
i don’t know if you know, but i’ve stepped away from the music for a bit. to be honest, i’ve been totally burned out. and for those of you who are not independent musicians, this is a very short explanation of what we go through…
it’s a life of instability, where work and money are not consistent. it can be anxiety inducing, but also extremely exhilarating to be doing exactly what you want to do! and we are obviously not in it for anything but our love of music. for some of us, it’s a need and there is no other path.
so i created my album “child in me”, which was released in 2011. i’d literally been working on it since probably 2003. it’s literally a part of me, and the story of my life. it costed thousands to make. i would love to create another album, i would LOVE to! but obviously i have to be realistic and know i can’t keep coughing up thousands of dollars every time i want to record one! so hence, my burnout…
so, why this blog, other than the free download? well, i sang yesterday at my friend’s gig, and i thought, WHY am i not doing what i was born to do?? my soul has been shriveling! and my biggest goal in music is to make it, and try to give it to as many people as i can! share it with the world.
so, i decided i wanted to give away my album to you all, if you don’t have it already. and hopefully, share it if you can, and want to! it’s hard to get it out there just little me trying, so i thought i’d ask for your help!
and i also hoped i could ask a little favor. when you put so much love and energy into something, it can feel really draining to not receive some sort of energy back. i realize the music biz isn’t what it used to be, and music doesn’t see as well as it used to. and i realize that if you have an album, it’s more like a very pricey business card, really, which i’m totally fine with!
but anyway, back to the energies. nothing really gets a second glance without reviews. so i was wondering if after you’ve downloaded my album, you could leave me one on either iTunes or Amazon. it would help me wonders. and maybe, just maybe, i’ll be able to make that 2nd album one day soon
there was a time i didn’t know if my burnout would ever fade, but it did. music makes me happy, so i always have to come back to it. and hopefully i can give you something through it.
i hope to hear from you soon, and all the links are below.
love & music always,
free album download -
Amazon review (no purchase necessary, scroll to bottom to review button) -
iTunes review (no purchase necessary) -
ps - i’m on Instagram now, so follow, if you please